Saturday, October 30, 2021
Sunday, October 10, 2021
A bit over a year ago a wildfire burned much of Malden, Washington. Due to the extent of the destruction, the already tenuous economy of the small town and the very delayed National Major Disaster Declaration by the President, there have been follow up stories and takes on the fire and the aftermath (https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/the-day-a-wildfire-took-malden/). Northwest Public Radio and Spokesman Review as well as Spokane area TV stations have continued to report on the town's effort at recovery.
Malden is a bit off the usual routes; hence, I thought a little background on the landscape of Malden and the vicinity would be of use. I passed through Malden about a month before the fire and also on a trip to Rock Creek and Bonnie Lake (bonnie-lake-precambrian-schist). On that earlier trip I paused at the Post office (above picture).
Malden is located in Pine Creek valley in the norther part of the Palouse. J Harlen Bretz (1923) recognized that the Pine Creek valley was a pre existing valley that was further eroded by ice age floods, "The valley during this episode in its history was but a channel. The glacial stream filled it from side to side for a depth of tens of feet. This is shown a few miles above Malden, where the stream flooded over a low shoulder of basalt, cutting a channel in the rock at least 40 feet deep, though the main valley alongside was a wide open and received gravel deposits."